Reader's View: Pain program so worth the commitment
The Oct. 10 Health page article, "Undefeated by pain: Duluth woman battles back with a positive spirit and minimal painkillers," focused on how one person manages her chronic pain. I would like to focus on one aspect of the article: the Essentia ...
The Oct. 10 Health page article, "Undefeated by pain: Duluth woman battles back with a positive spirit and minimal painkillers," focused on how one person manages her chronic pain. I would like to focus on one aspect of the article: the Essentia Health Pain Rehabilitation Program.
Prior to my introduction to the program, I underwent three back surgeries. The most recent was a successful major spinal fusion. It was eight months before I was healed enough to be admitted into the eight-week program.
At 71, I had endured years of back pain. Because I was brought up with a "no pain, no gain" philosophy, I literally worked through my pain instead of hearing my body's message to stop working.
On my first morning in the program, I met a woman who used a walker when she began the program; as she was completing it, she was able to mow the lawn! That was the encouragement I needed. I determined I would be open to the information and practices taught.
The classes mentioned in the article were all beneficial. From a well-trained team, I learned daily stretching to improve my mobility and reduce pain; minor strength exercises to rebuild my muscles after surgery; proper body mechanics through occupational therapy; and how healthy habits related to my pain management, sleeping, and energy conservation. That mind-body relaxation could be used to change my focus to decrease pain was a revelation! Qigong, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, etc. were introduced.
The program is so worth the commitment. I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from chronic pain. I use no meds, just the tools I was taught to make my pain manageable.
Robert G. Bell